Phillip Schofield criticised for defending royal aide who quit over ‘racist’ remarks

Phillip Schofield, who is wearing a green-brown shirt, talks to other people gathered for an episode of This Morning

This Morning star Phillip Schofield shocked viewers after he appeared to defend a royal aide at the centre of a racism row. 

Schofield and co-host Holly Willoughby discussed headlines about the royals with guests Isla Traquair and Tom Swarbrick on the Wednesday (7 December) episode of the ITV show. The conversation turned to the controversy around the late Queen Elizabeth’s lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey, who resigned as a royal aide on 30 November. 

This occurred after Ngozi Fulani, the founder of the charity Sistah Space, claimed Lady Hussey moved her hair and persistently questioned her over where she was “really” from. Buckingham Palace described the remarks as “unacceptable and deeply regrettable” and said Lady Hussey offered her “profound apologies for the hurt caused”.

Talking about the incident, Swarbrick mentioned Fulani was “accosted” about her background, and Schofield replied: “Not the entire picture, I feel, on that story.”

“There’s an 84-year-old lady who might have another side to the story and is utterly broken by things that she may say were not necessarily the picture to how she saw them,” he said. 

“But that story has been told the way it’s been told, and I think it’s the way it will probably stay.”

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Phillip Schofield, who is wearing a green-brown shirt, talks to other people gathered for an episode of This Morning
This Morning viewers accused Phillip Schofield of ‘defending’ Lady Susan Hussey after she allegedly repeatedly asked Ngozi Fulani ‘where she was from’. (ITV/This Morning)

Phillip Schofield’s comments about there being “another side to the story” shocked This Morning viewers on social media, who alleged the host appeared to ‘defend’ Lady Hussey.

“No Phil there’s not ‘always two sides to every story’,” one person wrote on Twitter. “There is right and wrong. Racism is wrong, hateful and undefendable. Using your privilege to excuse it is disgusting.”

Another added: “Not Philip Schofield on This Morning attempting to deny the experience of Ngozi Fulani at the palace when it’s been corroborated by others who were present and actions taken by Palace as result.


“This man brings down this show. They need to get rid of him now.”

“Philip Schofield defending Lady Hussey on This Morning like what,” someone else tweeted

This Morning happy to slate and shame Lady Susan Hussey the other day, now Philip saying that she probably has her own side to the story and defending her honour,” another noted. “Such poor magazine style journalism.”

PinkNews has reached out to ITV and representatives of Phillip Schofield for comment. 

Phillip Schofield smiles at the camera while wearing a black top and brown jacket over it
Phillip Schofield claimed people have not been given the “entire picture” concerning the racism row involving Ngozi Fulani and Lady Susan Hussey. (Getty)

Fulani, whose charity supports women of African and Caribbean heritage across the UK who have been affected by domestic abuse, shared a transcript of the alleged incident on Sistah Space’s Twitter account. 

She wrote that Lady Hussey “approached [her], moved [her] hair to see [her] name badge” during a visit to Buckingham Palace. Lady Hussey then asked her “what part of Africa you [Fulani] are from”, according to the transcript. 

Fulani responded that she’s British, but the royal aide replied: “I can see I am going to have a challenge getting you to say where you’re from.”

Madu Reid, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, was an eyewitness to the conversation and told BBC News that Lady Hussey’s questions were “offensive, racist and unwelcoming”. 

Fulani said she’s received “horrific abuse via social media” since after the Buckingham Palace incident. 

“Yet throughout this time I have been heartened by the huge amount of support we have received,” Fulani added. “I want to thank everyone for that, and it has shown me that love will always triumph over hate.”

A spokesperson for Prince William, who is Lady Hussey’s godson, said “racism has no place in our society”. 

“The comments were unacceptable, and it is right that the individual [Lady Hussey] has stepped aside with immediate effect,” they said.